Benjamin Wallfisch scores A CURE FOR WELLNESS – Interview

A CURE FOR WELLNESS soundtrack | ©2017 Milan Records

Madness and the curse of centuries-old grotesqueries have rarely been as elegantly conveyed as A CURE FOR WELLNESS, an auspicious entry into the time-honored genre of the sane man trapped in an insane asylum – or in this case a Swiss Alps spa seemingly dedicated to the spiritual, and physical health of its decrepit well-healed clientele. Much like a funeral director with obsessive detail to make an unholy mess spic and span, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and RING director Gore Verbinski has ensured that his institute resounds with old world, aristocratic class, all the better to hide the demonic suffering its delightfully […]Read On »

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Composer Mica Levi goes under the emotional skin of JACKIE – Interview

JACKIE soundtrack | ©2016 Milan Records

As an invigorating wave of “modern classical” scores like INDIGNATION, MOONLIGHT and ARRIVAL now take film music in uniquely interesting directions, the utterly bizarre and hypnotic originality of 2013’s UNDER THE SKIN was the equivalent of an alien landing in arthouse land to broadcast its musical language. Weirdly pitched strings, sound masses and unearthly metallic samples created the equivalent of a seductive hive mind, its heartbeat eerily slithering with just enough melody to keep the listener from Kafka-esque madness. UNDER THE SKIN‘s sonic shock of the new was created by the kind of avant-garde composer who could only come from nowhere. However, […]Read On »

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Interview: Composer Lesley Barber visits MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA soundtrack| ©2016 Milan Records

Flowing with melodic grace from classical to electronic music, Canadian-born composer Lesley Barber is often an inward traveler when it comes to her character portraits. Amongst her numerous, and eclectically-styled scores, Barber has played the music of a woman trying to break out of WHEN NIGHT FALLS, found the inner courage within the Hebraic rhythms of a Hasidic wife discovering that she has A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES, or discovering the intoxicating darkness within a potential girls school while suspensefully reading THE MOTH DIARIES. Given Lesley Barber’s unique way of playing relationships, perhaps her most rewarding, if too long apart collaboration is with writer-director Kenneth […]Read On »

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ARRIVAL: Composer Johan Johannsson learns to speak in alien tongues – Interview

ARRIVAL soundtrack | ©2016 Deutsche Grammophon

Maybe it’s something in the water in Iceland that’s produced an invasion of mournfully beautiful and stylistically innovative musicians, each setting out to revolutionize the word with a tonal language of ear-opening, futuristic art. In much the same way that Bjork has caught the world’s attention with her mind blowing take on pop, Johann Johannson has been terraforming a sometimes typical landscape of film scoring into a thing of haunting beauty. Listening to such works as PRISONERS, McCANICK, FREE THE MIND and his Oscar-nominated THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING and SICARIO are haunting journeys into humanity at its worst, and best. Low, nearly sub-sonic […]Read On »

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Composer Jay Wadley musically schools Logan Lerman’s INDIGNATION – Interview

INDIGNATION soundtrack | ©2016 Nettwerk Records

A time capsule in many, almost outrageous respects, INDIGNATION takes us back to 1951, a year when youths went to college for a stringent education, as opposed to schooling themselves with beer and girls. The decade’s beginning was also marked by a “police action” in Korea and a home front war against sex, whose acts taken with utter casualness now could result in social shaming, or far worse back in The Day. It’s into this Puritanical environment of higher learning that the intellectually strident Marcus (Logan Lerman) tries to find himself at a college in Cleveland, rebelling against his provincially Jewish […]Read On »

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Composer Nathan Whitehead continues to take THE PURGE in ELECTION YEAR – Interview

THE PURGE ELECTION YEAR soundtrack | ©2016 Back Lot Music

The past few years have been a field day for dark, rhythm-driven suspense scores. But when many of these pulsating killing fields have a tendency to merge into one big murder dome, how does one keep the mayhem playing with a sense of fresh musical blood? Just ask Nathan Whitehead, a composer who’s consistently been playing his brutally cool way of surviving one Purge after the other with his action-horror identity intact. In creating what’s easily the most interesting Blumhouse franchise (or at least until they turn WHIPLASH into one), director-writer James DeMonaco took the idea of Classic Trek’s “Red Hour” […]Read On »

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THE NEON DEMON composer Cliff Martinez – Interview

THE NEON DEMON | ©2016 Broad Green Pictures

If there’s one thing that composer Cliff Martinez shares in common with Jesse, the nymphet model of THE NEON DEMON, then it’s that both are soft spoken while rocking peoples’ worlds. For Jesse, it’s becoming a sensation that drives LA’s fashionistas wild with desire as The Next Big Thing. For former Chili Peppers drummer Martinez, it was creating a sound of alt. rhythmic minimalism that changed the face of indie scoring with Steven Soderbergh’s SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. But if Jesse has the misfortune of attracting equally gorgeous, if far more twisted people who want to absorb the blonde essence of her […]Read On »

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HIGH-RISE composer Clint Mansell builds beautiful insanity – Interview

HIGH-RISE soundtrack | ©2016 Silva Screen

  If being a composer can drive one crazy, then few have stared so consistently into the mouth of madness with such interesting, and creatively invigorating results as Clint Mansell. The braintrust of the U.K. group Pop Will Eat Itself made his scoring debut drilling a distinctively electronic hole into the head of PI’s crazed mathemetician in 1998. His musical mind-warping partnership with director Darren Aronofsky would mine new headtrips of creativity, from the string needles of the Kronos Quartet that filled the veins of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM‘s drug addicts to the cosmically symphonic transcendence of a truth-seeker in THE FOUNTAIN, the […]Read On »

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THE MARTIAN: Harry Gregson-Williams sciences the score out of new Ridley Scott film – Interview

THE MARTIAN soundtrack | ©2015 Columbia Records

From the poignantly realized rural Texas of Conan creator Robert E. Howard that comprised THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD to the epic fantasy realms of  THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and the unforgiving western territory of SERPAHIM FALLS, English composer Harry Gregson-Williams has taken listeners into unique, and powerfully encompassing musical landscapes with a sense of invention. But perhaps no vast subject of of his is sung with the feeling of one man’s resourceful personality like THE MARTIAN, a film that marks Williams’ most surprisingly intimate teaming with stylist supreme Ridley Scott after his work on KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and contributions to […]Read On »

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.composer Daniel Pemberton goes R.E.T.R.O. – Interview

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E soundtrack | ©2015 Watertower Records

With its mod rhythms, shagadelic exotica, bold brass, bongo-driven percussion and sheer, string joy in death-defying adventure against world-conquering wannabes (while of course not musically messing up the hero’s Carnaby Street tailoring), the era-specific sound of spy jazz has been making a making a comeback at the cinema, played for delirious height of kitsch by Geoff Zanelli and Mark Ronson in MORTDECAI, THE KINGSMAN‘s head-blasting drive by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson, or used for pure chase adrenalin by Joe Kraemer in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION. But while those two movies are latter-day exercises in battling villainous Eurotrash, THE MAN […]Read On »

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